The Cubs will face the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series


CHICAGO – About 48 hours ago it seemed as if the Cubs would be fighting to just try and get in the National League Championship Series for a second-straight season.

But thanks to a four-run ninth inning rally in Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Giants,┬áthe team didn’t have to worry about a decisive Game 5 on Thursday night.

With a spot in the NLCS already wrapped up, the Cubs were spectators to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals fight it out for the other spot in the series.

The players and coaches watched a spirited Game 5 at Nationals Park on Thursday night and after nine innings got their opponent – the Dodgers.

Los Angeles’ 4-3 victory over the Nationals puts them into the NLCS with the Cubs and they will travel to Wrigley Field for Game 1 of the series on Saturday night. Dave Roberts’ team won back-to-back elimination games over Washington to advance to their first NLCS since the 2013 season.

This year the teams met seven times with the Cubs winning the regular season series 4-3. First the teams met at Wrigley Field on Memorial Day weekend from May 30-June 2nd with the Cubs winning three-of-four games. The Dodgers were better at home during the series in Los Angeles from August 26-28 – winning two-of-three games in that series.

Only once have the teams meet in playoff history and that came in 2008 when a similar scenario played out. The Cubs were the best team in the National League and faced the NL West champion Giants in the division series. Led by Joe Torre and a strong offense the Dodgers won the first two games of the best-of-five series at Wrigley Field, outscoring the Cubs 17-5 in taking a 2-0 series lead.

Los Angeles finished off the sweep at home two days later with a 3-1 victory. That was the Cubs’ final playoff game until the 2015 season.